I am a huge proponent of trainers being students of teaching and of learning. I am also a huge proponent of trainers being students of leadership. Being a student is essential, but it is not enough.
You can read all the books, review all the research, attended the workshops, get the certificate or degree, watch all the talks, listen to the podcasts but, if you never apply what you are learning then you are doing nothing to serve those you have the privilege and honour to teach and lead.
Knowledge is not power. It is potential; the potential to empower others. Knowledge is only useful when it is applied and shared. Knowledge of the research on how humans learn and retain information is only useful when it is applied to ensure your training is in alignment with the research. Knowledge of leadership principles, concepts and practices is only useful if you are taking action and actually leading.
Being a practitioner without being a student can lead to the continuation of outdated practices not rooted in the research and not best serving your people. Doing what you have always done is not acceptable. What you do is too important for you not to be learning growing, challenging, changing, improving and advancing. Being a student also means getting feedback and reflecting on what you have done, and are doing, to determine how you can improve to better serve those you train and lead.
You need to be both a student of learning and leadership and a practitioner who is actually leading and taking action and applying what you are learning. Being both a student and a practitioner allows you to connect the dots between the theory and the practice of teaching and leading. Being both a student and a practitioner allows you to be your best, and best serve those you have the privilege of teaching and leading.
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